Everything Counts In Large Amounts

Monday, May 11 2015
Everything Counts In Large Amounts

This regular round-up of press coverage for home entertainment releases has been a bit quiet for the past few weeks, due to assorted commitments, but we’re back this week with a new, expanded look at reviews and coverage.

Expanded how? Well, as well as looking at reviews for DVD, Blu-ray and assorted on-demand releases, and additional features and column inches, we’ve broadened our scope to take in some theatrical reviews too. It’s not entirely comprehensive, but in the coming weeks we’ll be further honing and expanding the coverage. Like our home entertainment coverage, we’ll have the odd quote from eel-received films, with, additionally for the star rating obsessed theatrical sector, marks for the films.

And so what’s doing well out there? Dominating the home entertainment reviews columns was The Theory Of Everything, which had plenty of column inches and positive notices. Arguably the best reviewed theatrical release of the week was Girlhood, with The Age Of Adaline getting plenty of space, but not entirely positive reviews.

So, starting on Saturday, DVD Of The Week in the Daily Mirror’s The Ticket section was Icon’s The Last Five Years (“Five years? It feels like 50”), before the reviews moved on to Signature’sElsa & Fred  (“a gentle, undemanding diversion”), Anchor Bay’s  World War Dead: Rise Of The Fallen (“there isn’t anything here that hasn’t been done before”) and High Fliers’ Playing It Cool (“despite point fun at rom-com cliches, this is packed with them”). Its lead film review was The Age Of Adaline (“avoid”, two stars), followed by Top Five (“behind the outrageousness, however, is a touching, resonant story”, four stars), Big Game (“isn’t trying to be big or clever”, three stars), A Royal Night Out (“makes the recent Diana look like Citizen Kane”, one star) and Spooks: The Greater Good (two stars).

DVD Of The Week in The Sun was What’s Left Of Us (Saffron Hill/Peccadillo), its eclectic choice also included Justice League Vs Bizarro League (Warner), The Theory Of Everything (Universal( and Elsa & Fred. Its film reviews covered The Age Of Adaline (three stars), Top Five (three stars), Big Game (also three stars), its lead review was another three starrer, for Spooks: The Greater Good (Spooks: The Quite Good, it said – something we predicted would happen a few weeks back). The paper’s highest mark went to A Funny Kind Of Love (“a jar full of comedy Viagra”, four stars).

The Evening Standard kicked off its DVD coverage with Fox’s Wild (“it sounds truly awful… but is so well acted and made that it’s actually fabulous”), What’s Left Of Us (“does an awful lot with very little”), Lionsgate’s Testament Of Youth (“heritage cinema – but with bite”), Drone (Spectrum), Discopath (Metrodome) and TLA’s Broken Gardenias (“underdeveloped, but its heart is huge”). Its Film Of The Week was A Royal Night Out (four stars, its best of the weekend), a figure matched by Girlhood, Phoenix and Rosewater. Also covered were Top Five, Honeytrap, Big Game and Heaven Adores You (all three stars) and Spooks: The Greater Good and The Age Of Adaline bringing up the rear with two stars apiece.

No DVD mentions in the Daily Mail, its film pages were led by A Royal Night Out (“flawed but sweet”, three stars), The Age Of Adaline (“a silly watchable romance”, three stars), Spooks: The Greater Good (“all-action spy flick”, three stars) and its highest scorer of the week, Big Game (“daft but exhilarating”, four stars).

The Guardian’s Your Next Box Set feature covered Common As Muck (Simply Media). Its film coverage in its Friday review section covered Rosewater (four stars), The Age Of Adaline (one star), Spooks: The Greater Good (two stars), Phoenix (two stars), Honeytrap (four stars), Top Five (three stars), Stray Dogs (three stars), A Funny Kind Of Love (four stars), Future Beach (four stars), Still (two stars), The Canal (three stars), Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead (two stars), Girlhood (four stars) and Heaven Adores You (three stars).

Poldark was everywhere on Saturday, with the hunky Cornishman and his cohorts dominating the DVD mentions in the tabloids’ TV magazines – appearing in the Daily Express’ S Magazine, the Daily Mail’s Weekend and the Daily Mirror’s We Love TV, the latter with a competition offering prizes. It was there again too in The Sun’s TV Magazine, as its TV Series Of The Week, alongside DVD Of The Week, The Theory Of Everything.

And the flag-waving and chest-bearing for the series continued across to the quality press arts supplants too – The Independent’s Radar featured it (“you have to pity Poldark’s poor horse,” it noted, “barely a scene goes by without the moody former soldier ridding off to a cliff top staring sullenly out to see”) alongside The Last Five Years (Icon), Silicon Valley Season 1 (HBO) and a brace of five-star reviews, for The Theory Of Everything (“exceptional British film-making”) and The Long Good Friday (“terrific British crime drama from 1980”). Its main film feature was an interview with Charlize Theron, plugging Mad Max: Fury Road.

No Poldark in The Times, but there were still familiar names, such as The Theory Of Everything (“the story we know, but this is all about the acting”), The Long Good Friday (“bells and whistles re-release of the great British gangster movie”) and a somewhat belated notice for The Duke Of Burgundy (“arthouse buffs will love this, others will find it preposterous”). Its Top Pick among its new films selections was Phoenix (four stars), with Spooks: The Greater Good (“perfectly competent”, two stars), Rosewater (three stars), Big Game (three stars), Girlhood (“electrifying”, five stars), Top Five (four stars), The Age Of Adaline (“simple-minded romantic slush”, one star) and Still (four stars) all featuring in its preview. Elsewhere in its Review section, director Rob Marshall pieced his favourite film musicals, plugging Disney’s May 18 Into The Woods release, while its critics looked forward to Cannes.

The Telegraph’s Review section featured Mad Max Fury Road as its Hot Ticket, with further recommendations for The Age Of Adaline, Spooks: The Greater Good, Rosewater and Top Five. It interviewed Elizabeth Banks to support the release of her Pitch Perfect sequel, while a further feature looked at hoe to end a TV drama such as Mad Men.

The Guardian’s Guide looked at the new Blu-ray edition of Duel (Universal), with mentions for Birdman, Unbroken and Apollo 13. Further features covered Wayward Pines and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, both due on DVD soonish, and extended film coverage for Only Angels Have Wings and Mad Max.

The weekend edition of the Financial Times featured The Theory Of Everything (‘familiar story unravels in predictable style”), Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut and The Last Five Years in its DVDs & lowlands column, while its film coverage gave five stars to Stray Dogs, with further reviews for Girlhood, Top Five, The Age Of Adaline, Rosewater, Far From The Madding Crowd and Unfriended, with a clutch of further brief mentions for on-release titles

Sunday now and less releases than normal in the Sunday People, with coverage for The Theory Of Everything, Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead and We Are Monster/ Its Film Of The Week was Big Game, alongside The Age Of Adaline, Girlhood and Phoenix. Its TV page had Ordinary Lies (BBC Worldwide) featured with a competition offer.

The Sun On Sunday’s Fabulous magazine featured The Theory Of Everything on its Fabulist page.

The Sunday Mirror featured The Theory Of Everything and the new expanded Nymphomaniac Director’s Cut (Artificial Eye) as its DVD choices, with Poldark its box set and Black Sails on Amazon Prime Instant Video as its cable original choice. Its Movies coverage gave four stars to A Royal Night Out (delightfully good-natured royal romp”), with further reviews for Clouds Of Sils Maria (“rich and satisfying Euro drama”, four stars), The Age Of Adaline (“a beguiling romantic fantasy”, three stars), Only Angels Have Wings (“marvellous”, five stars), The Tribe (“one of the most striking art house films of recent years”, three stars) and Lambert And Stamp (“an engaging documentary”, three stars).

The Mail On Sunday’s Event magazine featured The Theory Of Everything and Poldark on its Staying In page, with Far From The Madding Crowd a Going Out recommendation. Its reviews featured the former title again, alongside Automata (Lionsgate) and, under a Police Thrillers Of The Week header, Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart (Studiocanal) and The Offence (Eureka Masters Of Cinema). Its theatrical review section gave Film Of The Week to Spooks: The Greater Good (three stars), with other titles covered taking in The Age Of Adaline (two stars), A Royal Night Out (two stars), Top Five (three stars), Big Game (two stars), A Hard Cell (two stars), Siege Mentality (three stars), Let’s Hear It For The Girls (“a terrific film”, four stars) and Hell And Betrayal (three stars).

The Sunday Telegraph’s Living section had more on Mad Max Fury Road, with critic Robbie Collin’s thoughts on other Cannes highlights. There was a further feature on The Man Who Saved The World. Its film section recommend Rosewater (“cinema that matters”, four stars), The Age Of Adaline (three stars), Spooks: The Greater Good (two stars) and Big Game (three stars).

Reviews for The Theory Of Everything, The Last Five Years and Poldark in the Independent On Sunday, with a competition offering prizes of Foxcatcher (eOne) and its Take Two column looking at Eureka’s Ace In The Hole. Its ilm choice was Spooks The Greater Good.

The Observer’s DVDs & Downloads column only had room for three reviews, The Theory Of Everything, Nymphomaniac: The Director’s Cut and, on Netflix, Beyond Clueless. Philip French’s Classic DVD was The War Trilogy (BFI). Film Of The Week was Girlhood (honest, empowering and electrifying”), with Big Game, Phoenix, Top Five, Rosewater, The Age Of Adaline, Stray Dogs and Spooks: The Greater Good all covered.

The Sunday Times had Girlhood (four stars) as its lead review, alongside a less complimentary Spooks: The Greater Good (two stars). Phoenix got four stars, with three apiece for The Age Of Adaline, Rosewater, Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead, and Big Game. Two apiece for Stray Dogs and Top Five. Its Culture magazine also offered up 100 TV shows that viewers could watch as Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Poldark and others drew to a close.

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